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the debates were first televised the first rule is appearances count. nixon should have shaved. al bush shouldn't have sighed. and the camera never blinks. challengers can benefit just by being on the stage with an incumbent president. >> are you better off than you were four years ago? >> reporter: it helps to have a well rehearsed one-liner. >> governor, there you go again. >> reporter: most memorably, lloyd bentsen's takedown of dan quayle in 1988. >> jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> reporter: but beware that deer in the head lights moment when a candidate forgets he's expected to be human. >> governor, if kitty dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer? >> no, i don't, bernard. >> i feel sorry for these candidates because there's a bunch of people sitting around a room right now telling them to do ten impossible things and then at the end saying be yourself. >> reporter: and if you lose the first round you can recover at the next match with a well executed zinger. >> i am not going to exploit fo
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